As the budget conferees begin deliberations, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) sent a letter to the members today stressing the importance that their discussions result in a bipartisan agreement that works to strengthen the economy, and also urging them to take this opportunity to put Congress on a path toward pro-growth comprehensive tax reform.
“Individuals and businesses of all sizes agree that our current tax code is broken,” Sandra Kennedy, RILA’s President, stated in the letter. “Revenue-neutral comprehensive tax reform that broadens the base, substantially lowers the rate, simplifies the tax code, and treats all industries fairly and equally will stimulate economic growth and reduce budget deficits.”
The letter references the myriad of rules, credits and deductions in the current tax code that allow some businesses to be more competitive than others. “Specifically, the retail sector faces among the highest effective tax rates of all U.S. industries, nearly 10 percentage points higher than the average for all other industries,” the letter states, demonstrating the need for a balanced tax system that treats industries fairly and equally in order to foster overall economic growth.
Nearly 18 million Americans work in the retail industry and 10 million more rely on a strong retail sector to earn their living. Retailers pay billions of dollars in federal, state and local income and property taxes each year, and collect and remit billions more in sales taxes to state and local governments. It’s clear; the retail sector is a vital component and driver of our country’s economy.
“On behalf of the retail industry and the millions of consumers it serves, we urge you to seize the opportunity you have and put Congress on a path toward comprehensive tax reform,” Kennedy concluded.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.